Congress likely to clear stand on Telangana soon

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New Delhi, June 2: Congress is likely to clear its position on the vexed issue of Telangana soon, as a view is firming up in the party that dragging on with the separate statehood demand will be detrimental to its interests.

With the issue returning to haunt the party, a meeting of Congress Core Group took a view of the political situation in Andhra Pradesh, where its two MPs and senior leader K Keshava Rao have joined Telangana Rashtriya Samiti.

The TRS is spearheading the movement for separate Telangana statehood. AICC general secretary in-charge for the state Ghulam Nabi Azad attended the Core Group meeting. The separate statehood issue in Andhra Pradesh has been troubling the party for long.

Congress

The Congress-ruled state is divided on regional lines on the Telangana demand. Andhra Pradesh is the one of the few major states where the party is power on its own and a good showing is crucial for it in the general elections due next year. Party sources said a final decision on Telangana is yet to be taken.

While Congress leaders have refused to give a timeline on deciding the Telangana issue, a senior leader speaking on the condition of anonymity said, "time has now come that Congress clears its position on Telangana. This cannot be dragged on for long."

The sources said the party could announce some decision on the issue after the Assembly session of Andhra Pradesh, whose second phase begins from June 10.

Unfazed by the move of the three Congress leaders to quit the party, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has maintained that people were free to join any political party, but a deadline to resolve the vexed Telangana issue cannot be set keeping in mind its sensitive nature.

Party chief Sonia Gandhi had yesterday held talks with Reddy, Azad and her political secretary Ahmed Patel on the issue.

PTI

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